Grace Piled on Grace   7 comments

Matthew 1:7 “David fathered Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.”

The world is not halved into heroes and villains, angels and demons, righteous and sinners.  David is the truth that demolishes that lie: an adulterer with remarkable faith, a murderer specially anointed by God, a law-breaker who wrote Scripture.

“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.”
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

Since we cannot sort humanity into upper and lower, we settle for before and after: we were all filthy rags before, but some of us have gone through the conversion wash cycle, and now we’re clean.  Except David doesn’t let us off so easily since he was “a man after God’s own heart” long before his debauchery with Bathsheba and treachery against Uriah.  We are fallen creatures, all of us, always in need of more forgiving and saving grace to redeem our fresh failures.

But we don’t need David’s example to reveal the cracks in our souls over which we daily stumble.  I know my sins, it is my acceptance I doubt.  And that is the startling truth of David’s story.  The deep failings of God’s favorites astounds me.  How can God put up with such flawed followers, not to speak of using them as his champions and spokesmen.  As the inimitable Alexander Whyte once suggested, who knows but that David wrote earnest psalms during those nine months of self deception as his illegitimate son formed inside the belly of his stolen wife until the prophet of God came to strike a blow to his bunkered conscience.

How could such a man be chosen as God’s mouthpiece?  Unless the very truth meant to be shared was of the unquenchable grace that God lavishes on us all.  If God’s central message is the gospel, that every human, however flawed, is loved forever, is offered the open heart of God in spite of repeated rebellion, then what better messenger than one who so clearly illustrates this grace in his own life?  The “man after God’s own heart” was a pleasure to God not because of his goodness, but because of his childlike faith and humble resting in God’s unquenchable love–the Gospel According to David.

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Posted June 8, 2015 by janathangrace in Bible Grace

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7 responses to “Grace Piled on Grace

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  1. Oh, how I need to hold on to this message…
    Thank you for sharing this!

  2. I love this incomprehensible amazing message…ALWAYS…for my desperately needy heart, and to offer to others’ equally desperately needy hearts. The complicated thing (read this today right before your posting) is that David is also used as a proof-text for abusers, by the perpetrators/abusers themselves, by those who have been manipulated by them, and by those who don’t want to get involved. “The abuser, on the other hand, went to great lengths to claim his forgiveness and holiness. As many Christian abusers do, he frequently quoted the example of King David, whom God forgave for his sin of taking another man’s wife. In other words, my sister’s abuser apologized vaguely for his sins — but claimed that we should forgive him because God forgave King David for murdering another man and taking his wife. I have an email from the abuser that asked why, if we are all sinners, as God states, I couldn’t forgive him. This twisting of spiritual language shows how malleable it can be to an abuser’s objectives and pathologies. In these instances, forgiveness always means complicity.” Lyz Lenz

    • Thanks for sharing, Elisabeth. It is true that self-justification is the greatest block to grace, not because it makes us undeserving, but because it makes us unreceptive–we accept only as much grace as we think we need, not realizing we are bankrupt. The unbroken, whether Pharisees or publicans, feel exonerated by minimizing their sin and then dusting it lightly with grace, and so grace cannot get at the roots of their disease but they turn it into a whitewash to cover over the rot that continues to destroy their souls. One true sign that we have fully embraced grace is an honest and humble acknowledgment of our failings, a heart directed by faith into the way of grace (the way of redemption and reconciliation), and a willingness to embrace the painful process of healing, however faltering our progress.
      I think Lyz and I disagree on the meaning of forgiveness, which is quite distinct in my mind from reconciliation or justice, so from my perspective I don’t think forgiveness means complicity. Forgiveness says nothing about the current status or duty of the transgressor or my behavior regarding him/her–it is for the deliverance of the abused, not the abuser. It seems the abuser in this case also misconstrues the meaning of forgiveness. If he wishes for relational resolution or even reconciliation, he completely misunderstands that process. If he wishes for internal peace, he cannot get it from another human. So in neither case will “forgiveness” of those he hurt be of any help to him.

      • I agree and understand what YOU are saying; I am just sad/angry to see how good (David’s example) will be used to excuse or deny evil. I think Lyz was only saying that forgiveness as per the demand of the abuser is complicity. Boz Tchividjian “We simply need to understand that Gospel and apply it to all situations of life, and this is no different. But so often, what I find is that we give grace to the offender and apply law to the victims, when in fact we need to be applying grace to the victims and, if anything, law to perpetrators, and trusting that God will use that law to hopefully transform the heart and soul and life of even the offender.”

  3. Thank you for what you have been sharing on Grace, I look forward to your encouraging words. I am (finally) learning!
    My devotional today:
    https://blu181.mail.live.com/?tid=cmoNNPapkO5RGVONidZ1x5uA2&fid=flinbox
    Barbara

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